Here are some interesting symptoms from sufferers of schizophrenia, which may be seen as disorders of free will:

1. Command auditory hallucinations. The patient hears voices commanding him to do sometimes horrific things, which he feels he *must* obey, and often does obey, even though he does not want to. It is not that there is a fear of consequences if he disobeys, like Nazi subordinates following orders. Rather, the perceived command seems to directly impinge on the decision-making centres of the brain, bypassing the frantic efforts of the judgement centres to counteract it:

"I heard a voice telling me to strangle my mother... I was terrified, I didn't want to do this, but I couldn't resist, I *had* to do it."

2. Passivity phenomena. This is generally even harder to resist, and hence more dangerous, than command auditory hallucinations. The patient experiences his body being controlled like a puppet by an external force:

"I was walking down the street when all of a sudden, I felt the satellites beaming a force field at me, which took control of my body and made me throw myself in front of the oncoming traffic. I tried to resist, but it was impossible."

3. Catatonia. The patient appears as if paralysed and unresponsive. Asked about the experience afterwards, he sometimes explains that he was actually aware of his surroundings, that he felt able to move and speak if he wanted to at any point, but that he did not want to do so, for reasons he cannot explain - just a whim. The fact is, catatonic patients are *not* able to move, even though they think they are, and could die if not given urgent medical care (IV hydration, ECT).

--Stathis Papaioannou

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